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Review: Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1

Review: Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1
Cover
Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1 mark the beginning of a Star Wars series by Star Wars set in a new era, free from continuity restraints.

From Dark Horse's site:

Here begins the tale of the dawn of the Jedi, the Star Wars of 25,000 years ago—before lightsabers, before hyperspace travel, before the Jedi spread throughout the galaxy, when connections to the Force were new. 
On the planet Tython, a group of beings—scientists, philosophers, and warriors—strive to maintain peace and to balance the mystifying power known as the Force. But a stranger is coming, one who will disrupt the balance with his arrival and his own connection to the Force. Everything in their system is about to change . . . The doors to the galaxy have been opened! Collects Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi—Force Storm #1–#5.


How is it?
Review: Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1 Wait What? A strange pyramidal ship (that is left unexplained) gathers a bunch of force sensitive people from several planets and brings them together at one planet that works as a force focal point. These people and their descendants will in time be called Je'daii. Unlike "modern" Jedi these strive to be in balance with the force, this is equals parts dark and light. On day a dark side of the force user drops by this planet and hell breaks loose. The rest of the book is fighty fighty, the force this and the dark side that.

Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons Wes Dzioba and Gonzalo Flores made a good job making this book on par with the other Dark Horse Star Wars books. The myriad of alien races and different characters is really cool to see. The coloring, while not groundbreaking does a competent job. Overall the art department is very well taken care off.

I really wanted to love this one. I'm a fan of the Star Wars mythos and usually enjoy the Ostrander / Duursema's books very much. But it seems that Ostrander has lost his Midas touch. The narrative is, for the most part, uninspired,  predictable and at times boring.

Ostrander uses and abuses the made up names and force memes. It seems that every other panel there's a "balance of the force", "force storm" or "dark side". And the made up names make it nigh impossible to follow the story without going back and forward in the book checking who's who. I know these are Star Wars cliches, but in Dawn of the Jedi these artifices are used to the point of exhaustion.

Review: Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1
Look not lightsabers
The worst part is that the book does not deliver what Dark Horse promised. This is set 25000 years Before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) but everything looks more evolved than in the Knights of the Old Republic comics (check Dark Horse's Tales of the Jedi Volume 1 and Volume 2) that took place only 5000 years BBY.

The Je'dii social structure is almost identical to what is found in the prequel trilogy (almost 25000 years later). There doesn't seem to be much difference in the technological field also. In fact, apart from the flying cars and intergalactic travel there doesn't seem to by any significant difference. Not what one would expect for a gap of 25000 years.

Review: Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1
Blade Rides "Butch"
These Je'Daii seem to have a much stronger grasp of the force than any other era Jedi or Sith. And talking of the Sith, out of the blue the name is thrown around. This is really odd because Dawn of the Jedi is supposed to be from a time before the Jedi/Sith ever came to be.

Then there are the lightsabers issue. In Tales of the Jedi (20000 years after this story) the few lightsabers that existed had external power packs while these one work on force will alone. In the tagline for this book it clearly reads before lightsabers but this book Ostrander introduced forcesabers, that are, for the lack of a better word, lightsabers. Really slick and original trilogy looking ones.

Review: Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1
Early Promo

Verdict?

I fell in love with this concept from the first promo image that Dark Horse put out. However this book doesn't even come close to the spirit of that early promo.


Dawn of the Jedi Volume 1 is a passable book at best. The art is good, but the writing is far from the best Ostrander and Dark Horse have produced in the past. Unless you're a die hard Star Wars fan give this one a pass.

Publisher: Dark Horse
Year: 2012
Pages: 128
Authors: John Ostrander, Jan Duursema, Dan Parsons Wes Dzioba, Gonzalo Flores
ISBN1595829792

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Originally Published at Reading Graphic Novels http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com/2013/02/review-star-wars-dawn-of-jedi-volume-1.html

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About the Author - Rui Esteves


Rui Esteves is definitely from Peru and has a blog!  Rui tries to find the good in everyone, which is difficult when he has to work for this hive of scum and villainy, but he makes do.   Rui does so enjoy graphic novels, as evident from the name of his blog:  http://readinggraphicnovels.blogspot.com, twitter handle: @RGNblog, and Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rgnblog.
 

 


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